Data Privacy Trends to Follow in 2023

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Governments around the world are introducing or updating their data privacy laws to protect citizens' data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe is a prime example, and other countries such as USA, Brazil, India, and China have also recently implemented or updated their data protection laws.

With increased media attention on data breaches and privacy violations, more individuals are becoming aware of the value of their personal information and are taking steps to protect it. This includes using stronger passwords, being more selective about sharing personal data, and using privacy-enhancing technologies such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and encrypted messaging apps.

Security vs Privacy

We would need to define security and privacy, and how are these two concepts related. Security and privacy are two related but distinct concepts in the context of digital information and privacy technology.

Security refers to the measures taken to protect digital assets from unauthorized access, use, alteration, destruction, or disclosure. This can include implementing access controls, using encryption to protect data, and using firewalls and other tools to prevent malicious attacks.

Privacy, on the other hand, is concerned with the protection of personal information and the right to control how that information is collected, used, and shared. This includes ensuring that personal data is only used for its intended purpose, obtaining consent from individuals before collecting their data, and safeguarding personal data against unauthorized access or disclosure.

While security and privacy are distinct concepts, they are closely related. Effective security measures can help to protect privacy by preventing unauthorized access to personal information, and privacy considerations can inform security decisions by identifying the types of data that need to be protected and the risks associated with their unauthorized access or disclosure. Ultimately, both security and privacy are essential for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital assets and the protection of individual rights and freedoms.



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Global rise in data privacy regulations

Over the past few years, there has been a significant global rise in general data privacy regulations. Many countries and regions have introduced new laws and regulations to protect the privacy of personal data and to give individuals greater control over how their personal information is collected, used, and shared. Some of the key drivers behind this trend include growing concerns about data breaches, cyberattacks, and the misuse of personal data by companies and governments.

One of the most well-known data privacy regulations is the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced in May 2018. European data privacy regulations provide a comprehensive set of rules for data protection and privacy across the EU and have had a significant impact on how companies and organizations collect, use, and store personal data.

Other countries and regions have also introduced new data privacy regulations. In the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was introduced in 2020, and some other states have introduced similar laws. In Brazil, the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) came into effect in 2020, and in India, the Personal Data Protection Bill is currently being considered.

In addition to these national regulations, several international agreements and standards address data privacy. For example, the OECD Privacy Guidelines provide a framework for data protection and privacy that has been adopted by many countries around the world.

Overall, the rise in data privacy regulations reflects a growing recognition of the importance of protecting personal data in an increasingly digital and data-driven world. As more and more individuals become aware of their rights and demand greater control over their personal information, we will likely continue to see further developments in this area in the years to come.

Developing privacy regulations in the United States

Developing privacy regulations in the United States is a complex and ongoing process. Currently, there is some federal privacy law that provides comprehensive protection for personal data, and several sector-specific laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

In recent years, there has been a growing call for federal privacy legislation that would provide a baseline level of protection for personal data across all industries. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union has also increased pressure on the United States to develop similar privacy laws.

There have been several proposed federal privacy bills introduced in Congress, but so far none of them have been passed into law. Some of the key issues that have been debated in these bills include the definition of personal data, the scope of the law, and enforcement mechanisms.

Several states have taken the lead in passing their privacy laws. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) provide some level of protection for residents of those states.

Developing privacy regulations in the United States involves stakeholders, including lawmakers, businesses, and consumer advocates. As data becomes an increasingly important part of the economy and society, the development of privacy regulations will likely continue to be a vital issue for many years to come.

Companies will invest more in privacy technologies

Companies will likely continue to invest more in privacy technologies in the future.

One reason for this is the increasing concern among individuals and regulators about data privacy and security. As more high-profile data breaches occur and new privacy laws are enacted, companies are under greater pressure to protect the personal information of their customers.

In addition, as consumers become more aware of their rights to privacy and the value of their data, they are likely to choose products and services that prioritize privacy. This means that companies that invest in privacy technologies may gain a competitive advantage over those that do not.

Advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, are making it possible for companies to implement more sophisticated privacy protection measures. These technologies can help companies identify and mitigate privacy risks more effectively.

The cost of privacy breaches can be significant, both in terms of monetary damages and damage to a company's reputation. Investing in privacy technologies can help companies prevent or minimize the impact of such breaches.

Сompanies will continue to invest more in privacy technologies in the coming years as privacy concerns become more pressing and as privacy protection becomes an increasingly important differentiator in the marketplace.

More privacy-related fines

The trend of 2023 is more privacy-related fines as data privacy is of great importance. Many countries and regions, such as the European Union with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have implemented stricter privacy laws and regulations to protect individuals' personal information.

As a result, companies that handle personal data may face fines for non-compliance with these laws. Additionally, data breaches can also lead to fines, especially if a company is found to have been negligent in its handling of personal data.

Given the increasing amount of personal data being collected and the growing awareness of privacy concerns among individuals, it's likely that privacy-related fines will continue to be a common occurrence in the coming years. Companies need to take privacy seriously and ensure that they are complying with all relevant laws and regulations to avoid these fines and protect their customers' data.

A cookieless future

Cookieless future refers to the idea that online platforms and advertisers should not rely on cookies to collect and track user data. Cookies are small text files that websites store on a user's computer or device to remember their preferences and track their online activity.

The use of cookies has raised concerns about online privacy, as they can be used to collect sensitive information about users without their knowledge or consent. In recent years, there has been growing awareness about the need for stronger data protection laws, and many countries have introduced regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States.

As a result, many companies are exploring alternative ways to track user data without relying on cookies. One approach is to use browser fingerprinting, which involves collecting information about a user's browser and device configuration to create a unique identifier that can be used to track them across different websites. However, browser fingerprinting has also been criticized as a potential privacy risk, as it can be used to identify users even if they clear their cookies or use private browsing modes.

Another approach is to rely on first-party data, which is data that users willingly provide to a website or platform. This could include email addresses, phone numbers, or social media profiles. By relying on first-party data, companies can still personalize content and advertisements for users while minimizing the risk of collecting sensitive information without their consent.

The shift towards a cookieless future is part of a broader trend towards stronger data privacy regulations and increased user control over their personal information. While the exact approach to data tracking may vary, the focus on user privacy will continue to shape the way that companies collect and use data in the future.

A challenge with the EU – US data transfers will remain

One of the biggest challenges with EU-US data transfers is the difference in data protection laws and standards between the two regions. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides strict data protection requirements, including limitations on data retention and requirements for obtaining explicit consent from data subjects. In contrast, the United States does not have a comprehensive federal data protection law, and data protection is primarily regulated at the state level.

The EU has long been concerned about the protection of personal data that is transferred to the US, particularly in light of the revelations of mass surveillance by US intelligence agencies. In response, the EU-US Privacy Shield was established to provide a legal mechanism for data transfers, but this was invalidated by the European Court of Justice in 2020 due to concerns about the privacy of European citizens.

The EU and US have been working on a new data transfer agreement, but it remains to be seen whether this will adequately address the EU's concerns about the protection of personal data. The EU is likely to insist on strong safeguards and protections, including limitations on government access to data, in any new agreement, while the US may resist such limitations due to concerns about national security.

The EU-US Data Privacy Framework (DPF), has been agreed upon in principle by EU and US leaders, and the draft was signed by USA president Biden on October, 7th 2022

Greater transparency in the collection and processing of personal data

Greater transparency in the collection and processing of personal data is an important issue, as the widespread use of digital technology has made it easier than ever for individuals and organizations to gather and use personal information.

Transparency means that individuals should have clear and easy-to-understand information about what data is being collected about them, why it is being collected, and how it will be used. In addition, individuals should have the right to access their data and be able to request that it be deleted or corrected if it is inaccurate.

To achieve greater transparency in the collection and processing of personal data, several steps can be taken:

  • Develop clear and concise privacy policies: Companies and organizations should create privacy policies that are easy to read and understand so that individuals can quickly grasp what data is being collected and how it will be used.
  • Obtain explicit consent: Individuals should be required to explicitly consent to the collection and use of their data. This means that they should be informed about the data that is being collected and have the opportunity to opt-out if they do not agree with the terms.
  • Minimize data collection: Companies and organizations should only collect the minimum amount of personal data necessary to achieve their objectives. They should also limit the sharing of this data with third parties and ensure that it is protected against unauthorized access.
  • Provide access and control: Individuals should have the right to access their personal data and request its correction or deletion if it is inaccurate or outdated. Companies and organizations should provide clear procedures for individuals to exercise these rights.
  • Regularly audit and review data collection practices: Companies and organizations should regularly audit and review their data collection practices to ensure that they are compliant with applicable laws and regulations and that they are meeting their obligations to protect the privacy of individuals.

By following these steps, companies and organizations can help to build trust with their customers and stakeholders, while also complying with applicable laws and regulations related to data privacy.

Increase in requests and complaints of data subjects

It typically indicates a growing awareness of data protection rights and the importance of personal data privacy. It can be driven by a variety of factors, including high-profile data breaches, media coverage of data privacy issues, and the introduction of new data protection regulations such as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Data subjects are individuals whose personal data is collected, processed, or stored by organizations. Users have the right to know what personal data is being processed about them, the purposes for which their data is being processed, and who their data is being shared with. They also have the right to access their personal data, request that it be corrected or deleted, and object to or restrict its processing.

If there is an increase in requests and complaints from data subjects, organizations should take steps to ensure that they are adequately prepared to handle such requests and complaints. This may involve providing additional training to staff members who handle personal data, implementing more robust data protection policies and procedures, and investing in technology that can help automate the process of responding to data subject requests.

In addition, organizations should be proactive in communicating with data subjects about their data privacy practices and providing clear and concise privacy notices. This can help build trust with data subjects and reduce the likelihood of complaints or requests for information.

What are some new data privacy regulations to be aware of in 2023?

With the great importance of data privacy and protection, we will expect more states to accept data privacy laws, built on the foundation that was laid by California and other states.

Congress, now, is assessing legislation via the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. If the act passes, companies will have to follow national and state legislation to be sure they are processing personal data correctly.

In 2023, some laws will enter into force:

  • California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) was entered on January 1, 2023. The CPRA amends existing provisions by introducing new rights for California consumers: protections for sensitive personal information, with social security, passport, address, driver's license, financial account numbers, and other highly private information.
  • Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) was entered on January 1, 2023.
  • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) will enter on July 1, 2023.
  • Connecticut Data Privacy Act will enter into force on July 1, 2023.
  • Utah Consumer Privacy Act will enter into force on December 31, 2023.

No matter possible congressional and local legislation, acting following federal, state, and international data privacy laws and regulations is an important requirement for organizations and IT departments.

Bottom Line

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on data privacy, especially in the wake of high-profile data breaches and concerns over how personal data is collected, stored, and used by companies and governments. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States are two examples of significant data privacy laws that have been implemented in recent years.

It is expected that more countries will follow and introduce similar regulations, especially in regions where data privacy laws are less developed. Additionally, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain will pose new challenges to data privacy, and lawmakers will need to keep up with these developments to ensure that privacy laws remain relevant and effective.

Data privacy is a top priority for Stfalcon, we take proactive steps to ensure we are meeting the highest standards for data protection when developing products or services. So, please feel free to contact us if you need any additional information.